Even so, I fret overmuch about leaving my fate in the hands of administrative folks whose job it is to assess the relative worth of my service. According to bylaw, service work is primarily a numbers game: to rise from assistant to associate, for example, I have to accumulate four total years of service between the department, college, and university levels. Raw numbers aside, however, I must also substantiate the quality and quantity of my contribution, which seems to make tenure and promotion discretionary outcomes–the numbers do not matter so much as opinions about those numbers.
That’s enough to make me antsy in prospect; I can’t imagine how I’ll feel if I get boxed out of plum committee assignments again in 2009 and go up for tenure early the following fall.]]>
But you’d be surprised how many times I see service couched in exactly the way I describe above: “It’s important for my file–where can I get some that will be easy?”
The comparison to students trolling RMP.com for an easy professor is left as an exercise for the reader.]]>